The top 100 businesses in Kirklees have been unveiled at an exclusive online event held today – with Wesco Aircraft (now Incora), SimplyBiz Group and Buy it Direct holding the top three spots.

The Kirklees Top 100 is a joint venture between University of Huddersfield, Kirklees Council, The Huddersfield Examiner, and the 3M Buckley Innovation Centre (3M BIC). The inaugural event took place today [8 October] at a virtual launch event, sponsored by CityFibre, with the top businesses and partner representatives in attendance.

Wesco Aircraft was named the most successful company in Kirklees. Wesco is a global leader in supplying parts for aircraft from small jets through to commercial airliners and military planes. Major customers include aircraft and engine manufacturers such as Boeing, Airbus, Rolls Royce, Pratt and Whitney, General Electric and GKN Aerospace. Following a merger, it changed its name to Incora earlier this year.

The top 10 businesses are:

  1. Wesco Aircraft – a global company based in Cleckheaton and Clayton West, that supplies parts for aircraft from small jets through to commercial airliners and military planes.
  2. SimplyBiz Group – a leading provider of financial services technology and outsourced regulatory and business support to the retail financial services market, based in Huddersfield. 
  3. Buy It Direct Group – one of the UK’s largest online retailers based in Huddersfield, incorporating several other brands including Appliances Direct, Laptops Direct and Furniture 123.
  4. PPG Architectural CoatingsEurope’s largest paint manufacturing complex, which makes paint brands Johnstone’s and Leyland, based at a 65-acre site in Birstall, where it has been since 1983. 
  5. ALS Laboratories – one of the world’s largest and most diverse analytical testing services providers based in Mirfield. 
  6. FMG Group – the UK’s leading provider of Fleet Incident Management and Specialist Vehicle Recovery services, based in Bradley, Huddersfield.
  7. Thornton & Rossone of the largest OTC pharmaceutical manufacturers in the UK, exporting to over 80 countries worldwide and creating household names such as Zoflora, Covonia, Cetraben and Hedrin, based in Linthwaite, Huddersfield.
  8. Morses Club – one of the largest providers of consumer finance to people in the UK, based in Batley. 
  9. Continental Wine and Food (CWF) – a leading importer, agent and distributor of more than 1,500 specialist continental foods, wines, liqueurs and spirits – many from Italy, based in Huddersfield. 
  10. MRC Global – the world’s leading supplier of pipes, valves and fittings for the energy market, with a major distribution base, along with a valve and engineering centre, in Cleckheaton.

For the full Kirklees Top 100 list click here  

The Kirklees Top 100 has been developed to help strengthen bonds within the Kirklees business community and put the district on the map as an attractive destination for inward investment, business start-up, scale-up and growth. 

Based on the York 100 model created by Make it York in association with the York Business School, the Kirklees List was established using a set of consistent metrics, through a combination of turnover, profit, employee numbers and growth, all derived from published company accounts of locally registered firms. 

The event, hosted by the four partner organisations, focused on a resilient Kirklees business community, working together and regaining confidence on the road back to economic recovery following a difficult six months dealing with the pandemic. 

Local VIPs appearing included Councillor Shabir Pandor, leader of Kirklees Council, Professor Bob Cryan, CBE, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Huddersfield and Wayne Ankers, editor of the Huddersfield Examiner, with Professor Jill Johnes Dean of the Huddersfield Business School announcing the top 100 list. 

Councillor Shabir Pandor, Leader, Kirklees Council, said: “Putting Kirklees on the map as a destination for business growth, infrastructure, and innovation is a big commitment for the council. The Kirklees Top 100 has highlighted the calibre of our business community, not just on a regional level, but internationally. We want to draw on that expertise and success and work together to aid economic recovery by identifying and creating growth and employment opportunities, as well as attracting inward investment.”

Professor Bob Cryan, CBE, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Huddersfield, said: “We hope to be able to connect more closely with the Top 100 as a result of this partnership, responding to their needs, signposting to the world-class academics on campus, helping to train leaders and managers to perform at the top of their ability and giving them direct access to global expertise.”

Sue Cooke, CEO of the 3M Buckley Innovation Centre and originator of the initiative, said: “The Kirklees Top 100 has helped showcase the thriving and successful business community that is right on our doorstep. Many companies within the Kirklees list are at the top of their game and we hope that being part of the top 100 will enable them to forge links and really drive investment into the region, creating new jobs and opportunities.”

The Kirklees Top 100 businesses will benefit from an introductory offer to join the University of Huddersfield’s new Leadership Centre, due to launch in January 2021. As members, companies get a free place on one of the manager or director-level leadership programmes when they book one place, as well as discounted rates on bespoke programmes and invitations to special events and webinars hosted in the Leadership Centre and Huddersfield Business School.

To stay in touch with news about the Kirklees Top 100 Companies follow @KirkleesTop100 on Twitter and Kirklees Top 100 on LinkedIn.